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September 2018 Educational Meeting Schools Support Mental Health

Debbie Smith and Katie Newman

Forsyth County schools will share the levels of collaboration to address mental health needs in our schools as well as suicide prevention. The Student Support department works with partnerships in the community for prevention as well as intervention to students and schools.  This partnership allows us to address barriers to students receiving mental health services and help educate and teach social emotional learning at all age levels. We train and educate staff to support the “whole child” and to create an optimal, safe and warm learning environment.

The meeting is free and open to the public. Tuesday, September 18,2018 – Location: Forsyth County United Way, 240 Elm Street, Cumming.

Katie Newman, LCSW, is a licensed clinical social worker with a Master’s of Social Work from the University of Georgia and Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Hendrix College. She has been a school social worker for 9 years and is now the Mental Health Coordinator for Forsyth County Schools. She also is a private practice therapist and consultant for a local primary care medical group. She has years of experience working with children, adolescents, and families in individual, group, and social work settings such as schools, churches, residential, and in-home counseling.

Debbie Smith, Director Student Support, Forsyth County Schools

Debbie Smith is committed to educating the whole child. To do this, strong partnerships with parents and the community are vital. As Director of Student Support, Debbie works closely with her colleagues at the school and district level to develop classroom climates and skill building strategies and resources that are embedded in instructional best practices.

Indeed, academic achievement, high academic rigor, and experiential learning opportunities are a priority. Debbie’s passion is to focus on the self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship, and responsible decision making-skills, that are foundational to academic and life success.

She has been an elementary and middle school educator, a professional learning leader, building level assistant principal and principal, and presently, works at the district level. In her current role, Debbie works closely with school counselors, social workers, psychologists, prevention services, and school nurses in the development of a Total Wellness Model that focuses on mental and physical health, as well as the development of social and emotional learning skills.


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